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[Synoptic-L] The Case Against Q

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  • Ron Price
    Mark Goodacre s new book with the above title (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International, 2002) presents a formidable case. Several arguments are
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 7, 2002
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      Mark Goodacre's new book with the above title (Harrisburg,
      Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International, 2002) presents a formidable
      case.
      Several arguments are presented in great detail, and with a wealth of
      up-to-date references. As I see it, the only significant arguments which
      are missing relate to the lack of viability of Q as a stand-alone
      document, the weakness inherent in the apparent need to stratify it, and
      the lack of a convincing Sitz im Leben.

      The book should at least make Q theorists reconsider the basis of
      their theory, and at best it will convince them of Luke's knowledge of
      Matthew.

      But does it prove the case against Q?

      Well, yes and no, depending on the semantics.
      Given the strict definition of Q to which Mark Goodacre consistently
      adheres, i.e. the written source needed to explain the double tradition
      when one has assumed the independence of Matthew and Luke, then I think
      the case is well proven. This is because his evidence that Luke knew
      Matthew, some of which was new to me, is very strong.

      However the most intriguing section is "The Logic of the Appeal to
      Minor Agreements" on pp.165-69. For here is a review of the statements
      of Tuckett, Neirynck and Friedrichsen regarding how they would react if
      eventually persuaded (by consideration of the Minor Agreements) that
      Luke knew Matthew. In effect, they all seem to be saying that in such a
      situation they would not abandon "Q". This is where the semantics come
      in. For they seem to have a looser definition of Q, presumably something
      like "the sayings source behind the double tradition". Mark argues that
      these scholars are missing the point, i.e. Luke's knowledge of Matthew
      should make Q superfluous. But this ignores the other arguments for the
      existence of a sayings source such as 'Alternating Primitivity',
      doublets, and the preservation of so many authentic-looking sayings for
      more than 50 years till Matthew was penned. Such scholars are heavily
      committed to their source, so their natural reaction will be simply to
      redefine its foundation in terms of these other arguments.
      So in the not-too-distant future we may arrive at a situation where
      the main disagreement amongst Markan prioritist scholars is not 2ST vs.
      Farrer, but a sort of weak 3ST vs. Farrer. ("weak" in the sense that
      Luke's supposed use of Matthew is limited to his adoption of mainly
      isolated words from Matthew, thus readily explaining all the problematic
      Minor Agreements.) If this were to happen, then far from bidding "adieu"
      (p. 189) to Q as Mark is hoping, only its definition will have changed.
      The name and substance of Q will remain the same. The net result is
      that *almost* nothing will have changed.
      But not quite nothing. For given that scenario, how long will it be
      before the 'weak 3ST' supporters realize the new scope it gives them:
      that if Luke knew Matthew, they can and should review each pericope to
      decide afresh which was copied from Matthew and which was copied from
      the sayings source? They will then be where I was exactly three years
      ago, on 7 Jun 1999, in my first posting to Synoptic-L entitled "Luke's
      Three Sources"!

      Ron Price

      Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

      e-mail: ron.price@...

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

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    • Matson, Mark (Academic)
      ... Unfortunately, I disagree with the conclusion here. If you move with Farrer to accepting Luke s knowledge of Matthew, I think you will end up with quite a
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 7, 2002
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        Ron Price wrote:

        > So in the not-too-distant future we may arrive at a situation where
        > the main disagreement amongst Markan prioritist scholars is
        > not 2ST vs.
        > Farrer, but a sort of weak 3ST vs. Farrer. ("weak" in the sense that
        > Luke's supposed use of Matthew is limited to his adoption of mainly
        > isolated words from Matthew, thus readily explaining all the
        > problematic
        > Minor Agreements.)

        Unfortunately, I disagree with the conclusion here. If you move with Farrer to accepting Luke's knowledge of Matthew, I think you will end up with quite a bit more of Luke's use of Matthew than some isolated words. Once Luke's knowledge of matthew is accepted, then I think you find most of "Q" is placed in this category. Now I would grant that there might be common oral tradition around as well -- hard to know for sure (contra Goulder). But it would be hard to "prove" at any rate that there is some independent source (written or oral) that stands side by side alongside Matthew.

        I guess I am still unclear why and how Ron would think that, having accepted Luke's knowledge of Matthew, one would still easily have recourse to a hypothetical common source. Again, I am not ruling out such a source out of hand -- it just is all that much more difficult to know when that might be used.

        >If this were to happen, then far from
        > bidding "adieu"
        > (p. 189) to Q as Mark is hoping, only its definition will
        > have changed.
        > The name and substance of Q will remain the same. The net result is
        > that *almost* nothing will have changed.
        > But not quite nothing. For given that scenario, how long will it be
        > before the 'weak 3ST' supporters realize the new scope it gives them:
        > that if Luke knew Matthew, they can and should review each pericope to
        > decide afresh which was copied from Matthew and which was copied from
        > the sayings source? They will then be where I was exactly three years
        > ago, on 7 Jun 1999, in my first posting to Synoptic-L entitled "Luke's
        > Three Sources"!
        >
        I agree with the last issue (not quite nothing is changed), but not the first (only the definition will change). The real value of the Farrer (or your 'weak 3ST') is the freedom it allows to see Luke using Matthew. That really changes the way that one does criticism of Luke, doesn't it? But I think the "substance" of Q would be quite different. I suspect that a Farrerite would come to very different conclusions about which pericopes we locate Luke using Matthew than a "weak 3ST" proponent. Or turn that around -- one who saw Luke being a more creative composer of his narrative would be far more open to thinking of the Farrer conclusion than the "weak 3ST".

        By the way, having just finished reading Mark Goodacre's book (having read chapters before), I think he does a marvelous job of undermining the main arguments for Q, from a number of angles. I will be very anxious to see the reaction to this book, which is stronger as a full book than the sum of the chapters.

        Mark A. Matson
        Academic Dean, Milligan College
        http://www.milligan.edu/Administrative/MMatson/personal.htm






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      • Ron Price
        ... Mark Matson replied, ... Mark, Yes, *I* would end up (and have ended up - see my Web site) with quite a bit more. I was trying to indicate where the likes
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 8, 2002
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          I wrote:

          >> So in the not-too-distant future we may arrive at a situation where
          >> the main disagreement amongst Markan prioritist scholars is
          >> not 2ST vs.
          >> Farrer, but a sort of weak 3ST vs. Farrer. ("weak" in the sense that
          >> Luke's supposed use of Matthew is limited to his adoption of mainly
          >> isolated words from Matthew, thus readily explaining all the
          >> problematic Minor Agreements.)

          Mark Matson replied,

          >Unfortunately, I disagree with the conclusion here. If you move with Farrer
          >to accepting Luke's knowledge of Matthew, I think you will end up with
          >quite a bit more of Luke's use of Matthew than some isolated words.

          Mark,

          Yes, *I* would end up (and have ended up - see my Web site) with quite
          a bit more.
          I was trying to indicate where the likes of Tuckett, Neirynck and
          Friedrichsen would end up, based on the quotations provided by Mark
          Goodacre. Perhaps I should have made their position clearer. Here is
          part of a quote from Neirynck:
          "... the inference from the acceptance of subsidiary Matthaean
          influence cannot be 'primary [emphasized] Lukan dependence.' This
          distinction between subsidiary and primary is far from irrelevant." (q.
          in _The Case Against Q_, p.167)

          > Once Luke's knowledge of matthew is accepted, then I think you find
          > most of "Q" is placed in this category.

          I place around 40% of Q in this category. But some people will be slow
          to change their position, and reluctant to move anything out of Q.

          >I guess I am still unclear why and how Ron would think that, having
          >accepted Luke's knowledge of Matthew, one would still easily have recourse
          >to a hypothetical common source.

          I gave three of my reasons for this in my previous posting. Here they
          are again:

          >> ..... this ignores the other arguments for the
          >>existence of a sayings source such as 'Alternating Primitivity',
          >>doublets, and the preservation of so many authentic-looking sayings for
          >>more than 50 years till Matthew was penned.

          Of course I know that in the book Mark Goodacre criticizes the
          argument from Alternating Primitivity, but this is a distinct issue, and
          he has not convinced me on this. After all, I can designate several
          pericopae as Matthean in origin, as long as these don't include cases in
          which the Lukan form looks more original.
          You may not consider my reasons for wanting to retain a sayings source
          to be adequate. But I don't see why you are "unclear".

          > The real value of the Farrer (or
          >your 'weak 3ST') is the freedom it allows to see Luke using Matthew.

          Agreed.

          > That really changes the way that one does criticism of Luke, doesn't it?

          Yes indeed. The more 'Q' material is designated Matthean, the more
          criticism of Luke changes from the 2ST model.

          > But I think the "substance" of Q would be quite different.

          Radical thinkers would agree. But you're not allowing for people's
          innate conservatism, and the fact that many 2ST advocates have a long
          and deep commitment to the Q they know and love.

          > I suspect that a
          >Farrerite would come to very different conclusions about which pericopes we
          >locate Luke using Matthew than a "weak 3ST" proponent. Or turn that around
          >-- one who saw Luke being a more creative composer of his narrative would
          >be far more open to thinking of the Farrer conclusion than the "weak 3ST".

          Yes, insofar as the 'weak 3ST' is very similar to the 2ST, in which it
          is supposed that Luke kept the order of the sayings more or less intact.
          But note that either way a written source is being posited, so I think
          Lukan creativity is only significantly different in regard to order.
          Note that once a 2ST supporter moves to even the 'weak 3ST', s/he must
          presumably recognize that Luke had known e.g. Matthew's birth stories,
          and had decided on a more or less complete rewrite.

          Ron Price

          Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

          e-mail: ron.price@...

          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

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        • Brian Trafford
          I know that this will sound lame, but my schedule this summer became so hectic that I did not have the opportunity to post my review of two excellent books I
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 17 6:41 AM
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            I know that this will sound lame, but my schedule this summer became so hectic that I did not have the opportunity to post my review of two excellent books I had the chance to read this summer.  September has been little better, and I have put off this task for too long already. The first was Excavating Q, by John Kloppenborg Verbin, and the second was The Case Against Q by Mark Goodacre.  It is my full intention to get to this project and complete it by the end of this month.  In the meantime, however, since the topic has come up here on Synoptic-L, I thought that I would give some of my opening thoughts, focusing in particular on some rather minor nits and picks against Mark's book.
             
            I offer these as comment and inquiry, not to be taken as too harsh a criticism, only because I found his overall case to be both compelling and convincing.  Based on the arguments found in his book, plus the questions raised in my mind by others (most notably, Eric Eve and Stephen Carlson), not to mention a serious rereadof the essay by Austin Farrer's "On Dispensing with Q"  found at Mark's web site  http://www.ntgateway.com/Q/farrer.htm , I have moved from the status of a believer in a "fuzzy Q" to that of an outright Q sceptic.
             
            First, I greatly enjoyed Chapter 3 on "Reasons and Rhetoric" where Mark took scholars to task for attacking arguments in favour of Lucan dependence on Matthew with exaggerated and dismissive language.  Here and elsewhere he cites those who speak of the (im)probability of Luke's use of Matthew with words like "demolishing", and "unscrabling eggs" and wondering aloud if Luke himself might be thought of as a "crank."  Mark rightly criticises this kind of dismissive language, and correctly points out how this can serve to generate excessive enthusiasm for weak arguments and even weaker assumptions.
             
            But the problem I had was that earlier in the book, in Chapter 2, Mark had quoted from one of his sources as he builds the case for Marcan priority among the Synoptics.
            "Can one seriously envision (my emphasis) someone rewriting Matthew and Luke so as to omit the miraculous birth of Jesus, the sermon on the mount, and the resurrection appearances, while, on the other hand, adding the tale of the naked young man, a healing miracle in which Jesus has trouble healing, and the remark that Jesus' family thought him mad?"
            (M. Goodacre, The Case Against Q, pg. 37, quoting from W. D. Davies and Dale Allison Matthew, 1:109)
            Now, speaking personally, I think that these arguments do help to weigh in favour of Marcan priority (though not as decisively as Davies, Allison and Goodacre seem to believe).  But other respected scholars, notably William Farmer, Thomas Longstaff, Brian Wilson (in his own typically indiosyncratic way), and a good many others did not (or do not) find such arguments compelling, and each finds arguments in favour of the author of GMark knowing about these stories, and yet excluding them even as he finds reasons to believe that the extra material was a unique insertion in Mark's Gospel.  I am not saying that they reasons are sufficient, or good enough for me to accept them.  But they are serious arguments, and it was here that I thought Mark was engaging unwittingly in the very behaviour he had so ably exposed as fallacious when used by defenders of Q.  I found this to be unfortunate, and would have preferred that he had relied, instead, on the strength of his own arguments without resorting to such tactics.
             
            The above is perhaps my most serious nit pick, though I have a couple of others.
             
            Though I reject Q and the Two Source Theory as the best explanation for interrelationship of the Synoptics, I still find the problem of the Birth Narratives and of the M material in the Passion Narrative to be highly problematic to the case for the Q sceptic.  What has changed, however, is that I no longer consider this argument to be as decisive as I did previously.  Here I will only say that while Mark gives a reasonable case as to why Luke might not have wished to use this material, I did not find these arguments to be strong, and think that this might be an area where further work is needed.  If I may, however, I think that his thesis outlining the use of Narrative Criticism in Chapter 5 in conjunction with Source Criticism might prove to be especially fruitful.  I found this chapter to be among the most intriguing to me personally, and admit that Narrative Criticism has traditionally been a field I have disliked, and therefore have paid it insufficient attention.
             
            My third criticism (if it can be called that), would be of his use, by way of analogy, of how Jesus has been treated in modern movies (Chapter 6: The Synoptic Jesus and the Celluloid Christ), and how that might help us understand Luke's own decisions in reformatting Matthew's material in his own Gospel.  In his defence, Mark does not place excessive weight on this particular argument, hoping to use it to help encourage scholars to think in a new light, and in so doing, "[P]erhaps... help us, at last, to give Luke the benefit of the doubt (in some of the choices he made)."  (CAQ, pg. 132).
             
            I am sympathetic to Mark's hopes here, and found his analogy somewhat intriguing, but unconvincing none-the-less.  Again, not to sound excessively harsh, but to compare 20th Century film makers with a 1st Century Gentile evangelist is stretching a bit too much in my view, though I would be delighted to hear how others might have responded to this analogy.  Perhaps I am simply being old fashioned and a bit too stuffy here.  I love movies, but I do not think that they provide us with much in the way of insight into the mind of the ancients.  Very simply, the writers and directors of these movies already had the "cover" provided by the differences within the Gospels themselves, especially between Luke and Matthew, but also with John as well.  Knowing that others had tread this ground before them could embolden them so that they might "tamper" with the originals, and not fear too harsh a reaction from their audience.  I wonder if Luke would have felt quite so safe himself.
             
            That said, I would love to hear the reaction of others to this chapter.  As I have thought about it, I have also wondered if I have let my own distaste for how Jesus has been treated in film excessively colour my response to Mark's treatment here.  What did others who read his book think?  I would also love to hear from Mark as to how his collegues have received this particular chapter and its accompanying line of reasoning.
             
            Anywho, that is my 2 cents for now.  My intention is, in the not too distant future, to combine a post on both Goodacre's book, and that of Kloppenborg, contrasting them, and showing where I found them to be both strong and weak.  This has been a monumental summer for me, and I must say, it is not often that I find myself changing my mind on something so important and long held (no matter how grudgingly) as the Two Source Theory.  Both authors challenged me a great deal, and I learned a lot from them.  And for that much, at least, I am very grateful. 
             
            Peace,

            Brian Trafford
            Calgary, AB, Canada


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          • Emmanuel Fritsch
            Hello Brian, Thank you for your review. ... Why a plural on arguments and on assumptions ? What you quote here refers to a single argument : if non-Markan
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 17 7:38 AM
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              Hello Brian,

              Thank you for your review.

              > First, I greatly enjoyed Chapter 3 on "Reasons and Rhetoric" where Mark took
              > scholars to task for attacking arguments in favour of Lucan dependence on
              > Matthew with exaggerated and dismissive language. Here and elsewhere he
              > cites those who speak of the (im)probability of Luke's use of Matthew with
              > words like "demolishing", and "unscrabling eggs" and wondering aloud if
              > Luke himself might be thought of as a "crank." Mark rightly criticises this kind
              > of dismissive language, and correctly points out how this can serve to generate
              > excessive enthusiasm for weak arguments and even weaker assumptions.

              Why a plural on "arguments" and on "assumptions" ? What you quote
              here refers to a single argument : if non-Markan double tradition
              in Luke comes from Matthew, how and why did Luke separate it from
              Markan material, and sewing it over his work ?

              The strenght of this argument explains why scholars, independantly
              one from the others, used "exaggerated and dismissive" language
              when reporting it. But the emphasized rhetoric does not weaken the
              validity of the argument. And consequently, rhetorical considerations
              are not an objection against the old "Crank Luke" argument from Streeter.


              As you pointed out, the right question is : if
              > "Can one seriously envision someone rewriting Matthew and
              > Luke so as to omit the miraculous birth of Jesus, the sermon
              > on the mount, and the resurrection appearances..."
              is a valid argument, then by symetry, the Streeter's one is too.
              (until one may proove the difference between them)

              => Perhabs Mark Goodacre does provide objections against
              the "crank Luke" argument which do not operate against
              Davies-Allison argument ?


              > Can one seriously envision [...] someone rewriting Matthew and
              > Luke so as to omit the miraculous birth of Jesus, [...] quoting from
              > W. D. Davies and Dale Allison Matthew, 1:109)
              >
              > Now, speaking personally, I think that these arguments do help
              > to weigh in favour of Marcan priority [...] But other respected
              > scholars [...] did not (or do not) find such arguments compelling,
              > and each finds arguments in favour of the author of GMark knowing
              > about these stories,

              You do not need to follow these respected scholars in order to
              dismiss the Davies-Allison argument. In fact, there is a more
              basic and logical objection, by analysing the logic of the argument
              itself, and translate it in common life to show how it is weak :

              "Is it possible that Mark rewriting Matthew omit the miraculous birth ?
              No.
              Then Mark did not know Matthew. Then Matthew know Mark."

              Is it possible that Tuckett is younger than I ?
              No
              Then Tuckett is not my son. Then Tuckett is my father.

              a+
              manu

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            • John Lupia
              ... Why is it impossible to considered Mark *being last* rewriting Matthew (or Luke) omitting the miraculous birth? Is it inonceivable that these earlier
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 17 11:29 AM
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                Emmanuel Fritsch wrote:
                > "Is it possible that Mark rewriting Matthew omit the
                > miraculous birth ?
                > No.
                > Then Mark did not know Matthew. Then Matthew know
                > Mark."


                Why is it impossible to considered Mark *being last*
                rewriting Matthew (or Luke) omitting the miraculous
                birth? Is it inonceivable that these earlier published
                accounts of the "miraculous birth" were complete in
                themselves and fulfilled a need in the early Church
                making it pass´┐Ż for a later author to recount them?
                The same can be said regarding the Lord 's Prayer. By
                the time Mk was written it was ingrained in the early
                Church like the "miraculous birth" no longer having a
                need to be expressed. Might not this "need" and
                "function" aspect also be related to the very reason
                or purpose why more than one Gospel was written to
                begin with?

                Best regards,
                John

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              • Maluflen@aol.com
                In a message dated 9/17/2002 6:44:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... I hope that Mark Goodacre will acknowledge the validity of this criticism. I do think the
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 17 5:41 PM
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                  In a message dated 9/17/2002 6:44:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time, bj_traff@... writes:


                  But the problem I had was that earlier in the book, in Chapter 2, Mark had quoted from one of his sources as he builds the case for Marcan priority among the Synoptics.

                  "Can one seriously envision (my emphasis) someone rewriting Matthew and Luke so as to omit the miraculous birth of Jesus, the sermon on the mount, and the resurrection appearances, while, on the other hand, adding the tale of the naked young man, a healing miracle in which Jesus has trouble healing, and the remark that Jesus' family thought him mad?"
                  (M. Goodacre, The Case Against Q, pg. 37, quoting from W. D. Davies and Dale Allison Matthew, 1:109)

                  Now, speaking personally, I think that these arguments do help to weigh in favour of Marcan priority (though not as decisively as Davies, Allison and Goodacre seem to believe).  But other respected scholars, notably William Farmer, Thomas Longstaff, Brian Wilson (in his own typically idiosyncratic way), and a good many others did not (or do not) find such arguments compelling, and each finds arguments in favour of the author of GMark knowing about these stories, and yet excluding them even as he finds reasons to believe that the extra material was a unique insertion in Mark's Gospel.  I am not saying that they reasons are sufficient, or good enough for me to accept them.  But they are serious arguments, and it was here that I thought Mark was engaging unwittingly in the very behaviour he had so ably exposed as fallacious when used by defenders of Q.  I found this to be unfortunate, and would have preferred that he had relied, instead, on the strength of his own arguments without resorting to such tactics.



                  I hope that Mark Goodacre will acknowledge the validity of this criticism. I do think the case is quite parallel to dismissals of Luke's knowledge of Matthew by proponents of the 2DH. Mark ignores here the very reasonable possibility that Mark did not intend to replace the older Gospels and that his particular authorial contribution was conceived in formal, rather than material terms: namely, his was to be a popular dramatization of an originally, and by then well known, literary tradition accessible only to a relative elite. The other problem I have with this oft repeated argument is this: although it is reasonable enough in itself to use for establishing an initial hypothesis, subject to further testing and verification, it really does not pass that further verification in so many respects. I know that arguments of some merit have been constructed (by authors like Peter Head) that could be taken to further corroborate an initial Marcan priority hypothesis; but the unbiased analysis of individual parallel Synoptic texts really does not. Of course one can in any case simply assume Markan priority as a given, and then go on to describe what the other evangelists have done with his work. But this does nothing to further corroborate the initial hypothesis. If this kind of work is really to have a confirmatory value, such individual texts should be examined without the presupposition of Markan priority to see where the evidence leads. Very few scholars have really done this with any consistency. And the evidence does not, in most cases, lead in the direction of Markan priority, in my judgment. It very often happens that an objective evaluation of the evidence in individual pericopes supports rather the view of a late Mark, dependent on earlier, more literary Gospels. It is at this point that one would need to reevaluate the macro-evidence argument of which Goodacre's version is cited above, and also the presuppositions of this argument -- which turn out to be without unassailable cogency, or even particular merit.

                  Leonard Maluf
                • Stephen C. Carlson
                  ... I don t see it this way at all. The Davies and Allison quotation is not put forth as an argument or a rhetorical tactic, but merely as a jumping off point
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 17 6:21 PM
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                    At 01:41 PM 9/17/02 +0000, Brian Trafford wrote:
                    >But the problem I had was that earlier in the book, in Chapter 2, Mark had
                    >quoted from one of his sources as he builds the case for Marcan priority
                    >among the Synoptics.
                    >>"Can one seriously envision (my emphasis) someone rewriting Matthew and Luke
                    >>so as to omit the miraculous birth of Jesus, the sermon on the mount, and
                    >>the resurrection appearances, while, on the other hand, adding the tale of
                    >>the naked young man, a healing miracle in which Jesus has trouble healing,
                    >>and the remark that Jesus' family thought him mad?"
                    >>(M. Goodacre, The Case Against Q, pg. 37, quoting from W. D. Davies and Dale
                    >Allison Matthew, 1:109)
                    >Now, speaking personally, I think that these arguments do help to weigh in
                    >favour of Marcan priority (though not as decisively as Davies, Allison and
                    >Goodacre seem to believe). But other respected scholars, notably William
                    >Farmer, Thomas Longstaff, Brian Wilson (in his own typically indiosyncratic
                    >way), and a good many others did not (or do not) find such arguments
                    >compelling, and each finds arguments in favour of the author of GMark
                    >knowing about these stories, and yet excluding them even as he finds reasons
                    >to believe that the extra material was a unique insertion in Mark's Gospel.
                    >I am not saying that they reasons are sufficient, or good enough for me to
                    >accept them. But they are serious arguments, and it was here that I thought
                    >Mark was engaging unwittingly in the very behaviour he had so ably exposed
                    >as fallacious when used by defenders of Q. I found this to be unfortunate,
                    >and would have preferred that he had relied, instead, on the strength of his
                    >own arguments without resorting to such tactics.

                    I don't see it this way at all. The Davies and Allison quotation
                    is not put forth as an argument or a rhetorical tactic, but merely
                    as a jumping off point for Goodacre's more dispassionate analysis:
                    "Davies and Allison's rhetorical question causes us to reflect on
                    the general profile of Mark the redactor as it is defined on the
                    Griesbach hypothesis." (p. 37 immediately following the block
                    quotation). This is evident in the subsequent discussion, where
                    Goodacre builds his case patiently with examples other than the
                    ones adduced by Davies and Allison. Furthermore, the dismissiveness
                    of "seriously envision" -- if it dismissive, which I don't believe
                    it is, especially in the new context Goodacre gave it -- pales in
                    contrast to Streeter's regular use of sarcasm.

                    I think that it is highly problematic to charge Goodacre with
                    "resorting to such tactics" based on a single quotation of other
                    scholars' borderline rhetorical question, when Goodacre's own
                    discussion, as a whole, has treated every position with respect.

                    Stephen Carlson
                    --
                    Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
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                  • Mark Goodacre
                    ... weigh ... Allison ... notably ... such ... author of ... insertion ... or ... and ... defenders of ... had ... resorting ... I am sorry if I gave that
                    Message 9 of 11 , Sep 18 12:00 PM
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                      On 17 Sep 2002 at 13:41, Brian Trafford wrote:

                      >Now, speaking personally, I think that these arguments do help to
                      weigh
                      >in favour of Marcan priority (though not as decisively as Davies,
                      Allison
                      >and Goodacre seem to believe). But other respected scholars,
                      notably
                      >William Farmer, Thomas Longstaff, Brian Wilson (in his own typically
                      >indiosyncratic way), and a good many others did not (or do not) find
                      such
                      >arguments compelling, and each finds arguments in favour of the
                      author of
                      >GMark knowing about these stories, and yet excluding them even as he
                      >finds reasons to believe that the extra material was a unique
                      insertion
                      >in Mark's Gospel. I am not saying that they reasons are sufficient,
                      or
                      >good enough for me to accept them. But they are serious arguments,
                      and
                      >it was here that I thought Mark was engaging unwittingly in the very
                      >behaviour he had so ably exposed as fallacious when used by
                      defenders of
                      >Q. I found this to be unfortunate, and would have preferred that he
                      had
                      >relied, instead, on the strength of his own arguments without
                      resorting
                      >to such tactics.

                      I am sorry if I gave that impression. What I suppose I was trying to
                      do was to focus attention on the relationship between omissions and
                      additions and to do so in a non-rhetorically charged manner. The
                      Davies & Allison quotation focuses the issue but does not develop the
                      point. I remember being disappointed that William Farmer, in his
                      response to Davies & Allison, was dismissive at this point and I was
                      therefore keen to try to tease the point out some more (see the
                      footnote on that page). I'd agree with Stephen Carlson's reading
                      here, for which thanks.

                      > Though I reject Q and the Two Source Theory as the best explanation
                      > for interrelationship of the Synoptics, I still find the problem of
                      > the Birth Narratives and of the M material in the Passion Narrative to
                      > be highly problematic to the case for the Q sceptic. What has
                      > changed, however, is that I no longer consider this argument to be as
                      > decisive as I did previously. Here I will only say that while Mark
                      > gives a reasonable case as to why Luke might not have wished to use
                      > this material, I did not find these arguments to be strong, and think
                      > that this might be an area where further work is needed.

                      Thanks for that. As it happens, I am thinking about doing some
                      writing on the history of the Passion Narratives, partly because I
                      enjoyed doing a critique of Crossan's theory a while ago and that
                      made me aware of some interesting avenues that could be explored some
                      more.

                      > My third criticism (if it can be called
                      > that), would be of his use, by way of analogy, of how Jesus has been
                      > treated in modern movies (Chapter 6: The Synoptic Jesus and the
                      > Celluloid Christ), and how that might help us understand Luke's own
                      > decisions in reformatting Matthew's material in his own Gospel.

                      F. Gerald Downing wrote a response to the article on which this
                      chapter was based and it was published in JSNT last December.
                      Bascially he criticises me for using "anachronistic analogies" and
                      says that there are valuable ancient analogies to hand, e.g.
                      Josephus, which can shed more light. The difficulty with his short
                      article is that it completely misses the main point of the article /
                      chapter, which is explicitly to use film as a means of assessing the
                      Two Source Theorists' value judgement concerning the superiority of
                      Matthew's ordering to Luke's. I am a bit puzzled as to why Downing
                      misses this since it is central, as I see it, to the piece.

                      Thanks again for your encouraging comments
                      Mark

                      -----------------------------
                      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
                      Birmingham B15 2TT UK

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                    • Mark Goodacre
                      ... Please see my earlier response to Brian Trafford, and also note Stephen Carlson s response. I don t think my views are accurately reflected in the
                      Message 10 of 11 , Sep 18 12:25 PM
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                        On 17 Sep 2002 at 20:41, Maluflen@... wrote:

                        > I hope that Mark Goodacre will acknowledge the validity of this
                        > criticism. I do think the case is quite parallel to dismissals of
                        > Luke's knowledge of Matthew by proponents of the 2DH.

                        Please see my earlier response to Brian Trafford, and also note
                        Stephen Carlson's response. I don't think my views are accurately
                        reflected in the quotation from Davies and Allison, which I used to
                        begin that section on the relationship between omissions and
                        additions, i.e. it is a jumping off point and not the conclusion. It
                        was because of my own frustration with such casual dismissals that I
                        devoted an entire chapter to Markan Priority in the book.

                        > Mark ignores
                        > here the very reasonable possibility that Mark did not intend to
                        > replace the older Gospels and that his particular authorial
                        > contribution was conceived in formal, rather than material terms:
                        > namely, his was to be a popular dramatization of an originally, and by
                        > then well known, literary tradition accessible only to a relative
                        > elite.

                        I tried to take seriously William Farmer's characterisation of the
                        Griesbach / Two Gospel Mark as an irenic figure and to engage with
                        that in the chapter. I have enjoyed reading your characterisation of
                        Mark on Synoptic-L but in this chapter I was primarily engaging with
                        published work on Mark from the Griesbach / Two Gospel perspective.
                        I look forward to seeing your views on Mark in print in due course,
                        with apologies if I have missed any up to this point.

                        > The other problem I have with this oft repeated argument is
                        > this: although it is reasonable enough in itself to use for
                        > establishing an initial hypothesis, subject to further testing and
                        > verification, it really does not pass that further verification in so
                        > many respects. <SNIP> It very often happens that an objective
                        > evaluation of the evidence in individual pericopes supports rather the
                        > view of a late Mark, dependent on earlier, more literary Gospels. It
                        > is at this point that one would need to reevaluate the macro-evidence
                        > argument of which Goodacre's version is cited above, and also the
                        > presuppositions of this argument -- which turn out to be without
                        > unassailable cogency, or even particular merit.

                        Let me draw your attention again to the nature of the quotation
                        concerned. Brian Trafford was quoting an opening to a section in
                        which I quoted Davies and Allison, but it is important to note that
                        my views were laid out subsequent to that quotation. I tried as far
                        as possible in that section, and in the chapter as a whole, to think
                        through the logical consequences of postulating a Griesbach Mark.
                        The question I particularly wanted to ask was whether a plausible
                        picture of Mark the redactor emerges on the Griesbach / Two Gospel
                        theory.

                        Mark
                        -----------------------------
                        Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                        Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                        University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
                        Birmingham B15 2TT UK

                        http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
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